About the ATCBE

ATCB guide

A preparation guide was developed by the ATCB to provide information to art therapists who plan to take the ATCBE. Its purpose is to provide procedural information and to assist art therapists in developing an individualized approach toward exam preparation. Enhanced performance on the examination is neither expressed nor implied. The ATCB does not endorse or recommend any study guide or method published by any group or individual not directly related to the ATCB.

The ATCBE is typically composed of 200 multiple-choice questions. Of these, approximately 170 are used for scoring purposes. The remaining items are in development for future examinations. These development items are not identified to the examinee. Candidates have four hours to complete the examination.


The major content, or knowledge, areas of the examination are listed below. These areas were determined by the results of the ATCB’s national art therapy Job Analysis Survey.

Examinees should be able to apply the knowledge included in each content area to the various practice dimensions. The knowledge covered by the examination will be tested at three cognitive levels:

  • basic understanding (recall)
  • application (applying knowledge to a particular example)
  • mastery (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation)

For example, some questions require factual recall; others require you to apply knowledge to a clinical scenario. The major knowledge areas are:

  • Theoretical Approaches
  • Intake and Evaluation
  • Assessment and Evaluation Instruments
  • Diagnoses and Populations
  • Art Therapy Environment
  • Professional Practice and Ethics
  • Clinical Skills and Application

See ATCBE content outline here.

About the ATCB Job Analysis

According to psychometric best practices, the ATCB completes a national job analysis every five years. This study provides a basis for the ongoing revision of the ATCBE and ensures currency and relevance in the content of the examination. Click for an executive summary of the 2017 Job Analysis Survey.

ATCBE Examination Statistics

The table below summarizes the total number of candidates examined and the total number of ATR-BC candidates and pass rates annually for the last four years. Total number of examinees includes candidates who took the exam for the purpose of state licensure.


Total Number of

Number of
ATR-BC Candidates

Pass Rate for
ATR-BC Candidates

















For additional information about the Art Therapy Credentials Board Examination, please contact the ATCB National Office at 877.213.2822.


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